What will other parents say? How will my teenager react to their discipline? How will be pay our bills? What if no one reads it? What if I don’t like it? What if I fail?
I’ve made decisions…many…out of fear. Now that I’m older, it’s easy to look back and see times I froze. I’ve kept quiet when I should’ve spoken up. Afraid that no one would want to hear what I had to say. I’ve let behaviors slide with my teenagers. Fearing our relationships would suffer. I’ve set dreams aside for fear of failure.
Can you relate to any of these? These questions have led me down dark roads in my mind. They’ve lowered my self-confidence. Given me sweaty palms. Increased my heart rate. They’ve fed my self-doubt. They have weighed down my countenance. They’re all negative. All rooted in fear.
As believers, this thought process is unhealthy. It’s human nature to weigh the pros and cons, but we have to recognize when we are letting our fears of the “what if’s” drive our decision-making. Fear is simply an emotion. One of many that we possess. We need to put it in its place.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NIV
I think this is a trust issue. Plain and simple. Do we really take God at His word? Are we willing to trust Him in all things. Even if the outcome isn’t what we had hoped for?
It’s easy to walk in faith when things are going well. When we are claiming His promises to prosper us or bless us. When life seems easy.
But God knew that fear would be an issue.
The Bible tells us “do not fear”. It’s not a suggestion, it’s a direction. A command. I’m a black and white person, I’m glad I don’t have to wonder if there is ever an exception. He says “DO NOT”.
Dismayed means to break your courage or become alarmed. You could substitute do not be worried or frightened. Again, there’s no gray area here, it says “DO NOT”.
Do not fear, break our courage, or become alarmed. He says he will strengthen us and help us. He will uphold us.
What are some of your fears? Big or small. I’m sure you would have your own list. Don’t rush through this. Give it some thought.
What would happen if we took fear out of our file drawer of emotions? When we are making a decision, weighing out the pros and cons of a situation, let’s let fear walk on by. It will walk into our thoughts, we’re wired that way. Let’s make a conscious decision to not allow it to lead our actions. Take it out of the equation all together.
Imagine what our lives would be like if we did that. Consistently. Daily. We might have less stuff and more resources to give away. We might be raising more respectful children. We might be expanding our families or working our dream job.
What would life be like if we were the first to apologize? If we made the first effort to reconcile? If we spoke up at our PTA meetings? If we chased down that dream we’ve been harboring since we were young?
This could be life changing. This is part of the freedom that comes with being a child of God. When we let God’s word guide our decision-making, the end result is out of our hands. We don’t have to second guess ourselves. We don’t have to explain ourselves to anybody. I find that so refreshing.
God is looking for people to trust Him. With child like faith. This is where the blessings are. This is where His protection lies. This is where we should be.
The next time you know what you should be doing, but fear is creeping into your thoughts, causing hesitation or nervousness, stand strong. God says He will strengthen you and help you. He will uphold you with his righteous hand.
To be in the hand of God…we should all be running to get there. Let’s get to it.